Category Archives: Fashion

Fashion

Adrian & Meyer: Top Namibian master jeweller crafting memories

Quality, imagination and craftmanship that only a master jeweller can achieve. Adrian & Meyer continues to bring form to your dream jewellery.

Jewellery is a boundless part of our everyday experience. Above all, it is an extension of love, an impression of beauty and also a sign of wealth.

Imagine owning a jewellery store in a diamond producing country like Namibia? Rolf Adrian is one. At 55, he remains the custodian of a legacy that is 111 years in the making.

In fact, Adrian & Meyer was established two years before the first diamond was discovered in Namibia in 1908 and has provided unique and timeless designs for over a 100 years. In 1987 Rolf joined his father, Peter Adrian, founder of Adrian & Meyer, quitting a job as a goldsmith in South Africa.

“I was always creative. If I didn’t do this, I would have done music or art, but working with jewellery gave me a chance to express myself,” Rolf tells Us.

He is one of Namibia’s few master jewellers and a founding member of The Jeweller’s Association of Namibia (JASSONA) that has trained over 27 jewellers to artisan level, one of the highest levels for a jeweller.

While Rolf is passionate about the creative process – making a custom wedding ring from raw liquid metal to an elegant ring is what gets his juices flowing – he has had to take up a much more important role since his father retired.

From creating one diamond pendant every two days, Rolf now oversees a complete process of working on over 53 clients a week.

“I love working closely with the client. It is important to listen and understand what they want because they might not always be articulate in expressing what they imagine.

For example, a client would want a ring with a wide gemstone, but if they have short fingers, we can advise them to get something better,” says Rolf, overseeing a workstation where Isak, his oldest employee, is shaping a Tourmaline Gemstone wedding ring.

They have a long-standing and extensive list of clienteles whose needs range from practical functionality to beautifully handcrafted custom work.

Besides being the leading watch distributor of brands such as Rolex, Tag Heuer, Rado, Tissot and other high grade brands, Adrian & Meyer also does valuation of jewellery for insurance, stringing of pearls and other services.

December and August, wedding season in Namibia, are their busiest months.

Adrian & Meyer’s goldmiths have become winners in the internationally bi-annual acclaimed NDTC Shining Light Award in 1996, twice in 2009 and again in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

And as technology advances, Rolf has always opened himself up to new methods and moving with the times. In 2006 he invested in a laser welder for which he coughed up N$250 000, and now a process that took days is completed in one, in the backroom of Adrian & Meyer.

“Coming up with new ideas is what our whole backroom staff enjoys. Since taking over ownership of the shop, I don’t get to sit on the bench much often and create jewellery as I must run the store, but that is something that I miss.

Because of our creative designs, we get a lot of tourist customers as well,” says Rolf.

When trying to meet deadlines, sometimes Rolf and the team can work up to 2am. As such, mountain cycling and swimming are what he uses to relax after a stressful week.

He is the father of Olympic cyclist, Vera Adrian, who represented Namibia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Otto Mühr @ 90

Otto Mühr is a family store which was founded by the late Otto Mühr himself, and since then it has been the family store for the Mühr family.

When he founded the business in 1927, the late Otto Mühr had a dream of a family run business. But he had no idea famous brands like Polo, Gant, Diesel, Palladium would buy into it.

Today, 90 years on, the business, now run by a third generation of the Mührs, has survived World War 2, Apartheid and witnessed Namibian independence, all with reinventions of fashion to suit each era, dressing all three Presidents and lately top artists such as Gazza.

“Otto Mühr has been known for being a ‘Men’s store’ until recently when our new team introduced the female clothing line just to broaden our customer base.

Loyal clients have been always our strength and it’s because of these loyal clients that Otto Mühr has managed to be in business for this long,” says owner Matthias Mühr.

With prizes ranging from N$2500 to N$9000 from tuxedos, casual blazers to matric farewell suits, Otto Mühr’s consistency makes it comparable to none in the fashion industry. With quality as a running motto, Otto Mühr stays up to date with the latest in fashion on the market, and they do this by allowing customers/clients to come up with what they need. The store also checks on the internet for trending styles on the global market.

Literary the store seems busy throughout the year, but their busiest months of the year are from April until the end of October, and this is because the store supplies any type of suits for different occasions, during that period.

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Garment goddess

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Patricia Mtambalika’s designs are seriously stunning. Her custom prints and impeccable attention to detail — each hand-embellished piece requires around 90 days’ work — have won over the hearts and sartorial sensibilities of top women across the country, including one of our favourite style goddesses: Blossom and two prominent Ministers. One look at her line and we guarantee you’ll be totally smitten.

The Malawi born Fashion designer looks to Africa’s rich cultural diversity and local tribal traditions for inspiration when designing for her eponymous line of knitwear.

Her eye-catching hues and statement-making prints are anything but subtle, but the out-of-the-box designs are perfect for infusing any wardrobe with new energy and life.

Huge reason why a lot of both male and female diplomats fall for her work. She was forced to stash her Bachelor’s in Business Admin (1995) when her child suffered brain damaged as she had to spend lot of time at home.“I could not just be idle at home and convinced my hubby to buy for me a sewing machine.

It was there that I began experimenting with designs,” she says. By 2005, the passion for fashion and design saw her enrolling at UNAM for a Diploma in Visual Arts, which she graduated in the end with an BA Honors majoring  in Fashion and Textile.

By now, Africa had already assumed a lot of attention in the fashion world, for a good reason. From Nigeria to South Africa and everywhere in between, big talent has been entering the international style game with something totally unique.

And it’s not just the impeccable designs inspired by the colours, sounds and heritage of the continent that have garnered the attention of some of the biggest players in the industry.

Patricia had become part of these new designers doing fashion on their own terms by putting local resources, artisanal skills and sustainable production at the forefront of their business models.

Her Nessi Fashion Studio & Boutique was launched in 2014, she hired seamstresses who work as tailors for sewing women and men clothes, and she now offers internship to Namibia Institution of Mines and Technology (NIMT) students, and is a hit for those in search of quality wedding outfits.

Patricia’s pieces are made for the woman who want to stand out. Her Malawi and Namibian heritage lend a unique visual voice to every design, while sustainable production means her line is both aesthetically and ethically ahead of the curve.

To her advantage, she has been mixing the Malawi roots and the Namibian traditional attire to earn a place between the favoured West African attire and the usual emerging designs.

“I love the African culture as well as its roots since it’s vibrant and colourful,” she says. Designers in Namibia face a lot of challenges in that when they fare forced to follow what is trending instead of doing their own unique designs, she adds.

For her, listening to clients and building a good communication relationship is what makes a good designer.

“I feel like our African roots are being challenged by the western culture and it’s up to us African designers to up-lift it by making cloths with the taste of the African style.”

Showcasing the Africa she knows — one that is urban, strong and globally minded — is what Patricia’s brand is all about. Each Bantu piece is made in Africa by local artisans in a way that is both sustainable and fair.

Traditional processes are key in their production, as are the local vendors with whom the label works exclusively. Besides others, Blossom, Lize Ehlers and Erna Chimu are some of her top clients. Small wonder.

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Gazza’s Beard COMBO

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“Whenever I enter a room, people look shocked, and some say that I look like a Taliban.”

Whether you want a touch of scruff or the grizzliest beard of them all, you don’t need a Hollywood stylist to look stunning.

For years caressing his clean-shaven face was appealing to some women, lately Gazza has been showing off what those follicles can do, with a bristle combo.

Truth is, not every facial hair style will work on every face (sorry, guys), and for the Shuna hit-maker it was out of necessity, yet it now sticks.

It all started three years ago while shooting his ‘Wambo to New York’ music video when his barber suggested he grows out his beard for the video shoot.

Although Gazza did not sport a beard in that video, the idea was planted.

“I love trying out new stuff and I don’t know where it will take me. There are always other looks to try out but I’m comfortable with this one right now.

I don’t use any products for my beard, but naturally they grow fast although I happen to give them a little help by twisting them,” says Gazza.

He has been growing the current beard since November 2015, but his looks way more original than that of Papa Shikongeni and Irvin Randle, aka Mr. Steal Your Grandma.

He would prefer to describe his look as for classic man, “Whenever I enter a room, people look shocked, and some say that I look like a Taliban.

I have guys who groom my beard and hair wherever I go. My wife loves it and

she is used to the way I  look, she said ‘I would look weird if I shave them off.” How To Keep Your Beard Neat Beards have been on trend for a while now, despite people thinking they’d phase out.

In reality, they’ll always be around in one shape or form, but the level of their trendiness and the style of beard will shift.

Most men who decided to grow a long beard most likely decided that they are going to have a beard for most of their life and probably purchased the tools to groom it. I think that with their efforts to groom themselves, they will [become] better at trimming it and shaping it.”

“The best way to keep a beard looking great is to start with a visit to your local barber or stylist who has experience with shaping beards,” says Gazza.

“A professional can get you on track to line up and trim, and assist with instructions on how to trim your beard at home. Additionally, they can discuss your facial hair goals and the styles you like or want to achieve.”

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Namibia’s Mrs Africa Contestant: Married, Classy & Beautiful

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Olivia Onesmus is proof that beauty pageants can be more than about beauty. The 28-year-old will represent Namibia at the Mrs. Africa pageant, a beauty pageant competition for married women with children which will take place in December Johannesburg, South Africa.

“It is a great initiative because it makes people aware that pageants are not just about looking nice, but about women empowerment and giving back to the community. It’s not about looking thin or having a certain aesthetic look. You can be short, tall or chubby,” Olivia says.

The pageant has been around since 2006 launched by Carolyn Baldwin-Botha of Pageants SA and has grown in prestige over the last decade. The aim of the Mrs Africa pageant is to create a platform by which the unique qualities of African Woman can be showcased and touch the world.

Onesmus, the mother of one is one of the youngest participants at this year competition and she hopes will be an inspiration for young married women to be more involved.

Her dream is to bring back the crown and in the process raise N$6000 for reusable sanitary pads under the Dignity Dreams Project to the less fortunate.

“Delivering free sanitary pads to young girls especially, all over the country is something that has not been happening and it very important. I would like to young women doing sewing classes so we can train them to be producing this reusable pads, which can be used up to a year.”

Olivia is currently a second year LLB Law student at UNISA and works in the Nedbank Legal system. Namibia will have five other representatives at the Mrs. Africa pageant, out of the 40 participants, namely Alaine du Rand, Alberta Swartbooi–Sechogele, Jeanette Tlhabanello, Roleen Daleen Opperman and Rachel Steinbeck.

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A cut of faith: Cobus Moller

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“God has taken care of the business since day one. We bless the wedding dresses together with my team and in a way we are blessing the marriage.”

Miss Namibia is a one-of-a-kind display of unique designs to the world and allows contestants from all corners of the country the unprecedented opportunity to showcase some of the finest couture pieces from our culture and lifestyles and their favourite designers.

This year, designers, ranging from high-end couturiers to talented family members clamoured at the opportunity to dress Miss Namibia contestants, and at the end of the event, the garment deemed as appropriate on the most beautiful  face won the Miss Namibia.

And the brainchild of that garment is top designer, Cobus Moller. While it may look like a sea of sequins, crystals, and mile-long trains, synonymous with standard pageantry, Us Magazine dug a little deeper to find out what these fabulous garments mean to the contestants. Lizelle Esterhuizen’s dress was designed by Moller, and he prayed for it before she took it to the gong.

With his three seamstresses, Moller, who owns Pfohls Men’s Outfitters blesses every wedding dresses they make, every suit to the Ministers and high powered corporate figures who make up his clientele.

But it is the over 50 wedding dresses that are his cash cow. And Miss Namibia was just a bonus of a great man’s talent.

He is not inspired by nature or event but by God.The winning gown that Esterhuizen wore seemed inspired by total epitome of class and elegance. Moller has been the chief designer of dresses and gowns for Miss Namibia pageants for five years now and he says it is only his real moment to shine as he gets to be creative and show off his skills. His longest serving employee Frieda says the 2013 Miss Namibia outfits were top-notch for her. “That’s when I came to appreciate Cobus’ skill. Cobus made over 29 dresses and gowns for that year’s event and they were all out of this world,” says Frieda. He is not done yet. He is still conceptualising what Namibia’s representatives to the Miss Universe and Miss World pageantry will wear.

“When I’m preparing for those events, it’s not about me anymore. When I’m making dresses for Miss Namibia events, I get excited and try to be better than I was last year. But with Miss Universe and Miss World, the pressure is on me to make sure the girl we send doesn’t look like she comes from poor Namibia but is a peer with the rest of the contestants in every way,” he says.

Although Cobus periodically gets material imported from Italy and other European countries, he says he prefers to buy local. And having designed outfits for former Miss Universe Michelle McLean, David Mbeha first African to win TLC, the sky is no longer the limit. Only he himself can limit his ability.

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Female Donkey’s taste for clothes

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Her name is enough to raise one eyebrow but wait until you meet her in person. Female Donkey, the Damara punch and self-titled Ma/Gaisa queen is never in a dull outfit and if you saw her in one, it wasn’t her. Simple.

Be it the NAMAs or a humble concert in the deepest nook and cranny streets of Katutura, Female Donkey is always sporting her most stylish dress code. “Our dress code as musicians is not up to standard in this country. We should start accepting that we are in Africa and be who we are. I don’t go on stage naked, but if I have to be half naked, I’ll do it because I want the industry to be creative.

The Congolese and West Africans are very creative and you can see it from their dress codes.”

Everyone noticed when Female Donkey rocked up to a show in a cut up yellow spandex that had her thighs hanging on to her garment like Marcus Thomas on the fence. She took some stick for that one.

As a school teacher of learners in grade five to seven, many expect her to act as conservative as possible and they certainly let her know their feelings.

“After I wore that outfit at the show, a lot of people criticized me. I did it because I wanted to show people that I am confident enough to do it and confidence runs in my blood.

But they said, ‘Please call in the Minister of Education.’ ‘She is just looking for men’. But I am very conservative at work. At school I am simply Magdalena Gontes.

I make sure my entire body is covered when I am teaching and my students look up to me,” she tells Us.

But criticism only slides off Female Donkey like water on a smooth rock!

Female Donkey has her own personal designer with whom she sits down with to bounce around ideas with of what would make her look the most fabulous.

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The soul of a woman’s wardrobe

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The wardrobe is a woman’s most treasured possession. Every piece of cloth within her closet, no matter how new or old, is dear to her. This is where she hides her comfort, her sexiness, her confidence, her bloatedness and her many shades of melancholy. If her wardrobe doesn’t give you a peek into her soul, I don’t know what will.

Now, every wardrobe has a soul. These are the clothing items that form the very essence of a woman’s personality. If your wardrobe is missing any of these items, then you will find yourself floundering in times of need. Us Magazine shows you the components of this skeleton or the soul of a wardrobe which brings together all the clothes that one possesses.

Dark Trousers

Especially black ones. These are an important part of a wardrobe because they go with absolutely anything. Shirts, tops, tunics all these can be paired with a slender pair of black pants to create outfits that are suitable for almost any occasion that you can imagine. Not only does it never go out of fashion, it can also be paired with many other wardrobe staples.

White Dress Shirt

This is the top wear counterpart of your dark trousers. A classic white shirt goes a long way. Skirts, pants or a suit; all of these can be complimented with a white dress shirt. It’s a matter or folding up your sleeves for an instant transformation from formal to casual. It even goes well with a pair of dark blue jeans to create a laid back yet elegant look.

Solid Black Heels

Another ageless fashion statement, a pair of solid black heels can be worn with countless outfits. They bring about a dash of panache and also compliment your shape. Let’s not forget the vantage point you get when arguing and towering over your opponent. The time of the day doesn’t matter, wear them with a sexy dress, midi, pencil skirt or rugged jeans, your black heels will never let you down.

Day Dress

A lot of us give this the pass, opting for a pair of jean or trousers instead. But a daytime dress in a floral print or pastel colours can be very useful from time to time. Settle on a shift dress with elegant patterns and you will thank yourself for it. Especially when you realise how airy, roomy and comfortable it is as compared to your skinny jeans.

Black Suit

Nothing says formal like a black suit. For the sake of your career and your own confidence, it is best to invest in a well-cut and well-fitting suit. It takes care of all your formal events and you can wear the jacket with another outfit or the skirt with a flowery top to create many other semi-formal attires.

Little Black Dress

You must have heard of the little black dress (LBD) that is a must-have in any wardrobe. Well, we take it a step further to say that it need not be little. Even if it is knee level or a bit longer, it still works as your basic evening wear. Depending upon the occasion you are attending, you can customise your outfit using accessories.

Dressy Jacket

A dressy jacket is all you need to go from ordinary to chic. It may be a lace number or a casual black one or even something with a contrasting geometrical pattern. A dressy jacket is a good way to get “dressed up”. It makes people sit up and take attention. Select one for your wardrobe, preferably something that will go with many other outfits be it dresses or jeans or shorts.

Clutch

Yes, I understand that your duffel bag holds ‘everything’, but you don’t want to carry that around when clubbing or at an event. So the next logical step is something small. A small sassy clutch with a stow-away strap is your best bet. This can hold most of your essentials like your phone, cards, lipstick and a compact. The strap can come in handy when your hands are full from holding a drink or someone special’s hand.

Scarf

If not a collection, you must have at least one scarf in your wardrobe. It is the best thing to add a pop of colour to your outfit. You need not wear it only with dresses, wrap one around your neck wearing a tank top or leave it on your shoulders when wearing a strappy number. If you ever get dressed up and feel that you need more colour or that something’s missing, put on a scarf. More often than not, you will be pleased with the result.

Shiny Sandals

These are your night time life savers. Get a pair of bling footwear that you can wear on your night outs. Ensure that they are comfortable as you will end up wearing them for a long period of time and probably dancing in them as well. Settle for a sexy, strappy thing with a small heel. Peep toes work too.

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